Monday, April 28, 2008

Memoirs of a Geisha

I finally finished the book yesterday afternoon. And wow, the payoff was good, though not what I was expecting. A very good story from start to finish which swept me off my feet. Feeling somewhat saddened that the story was over, I immediately went to the video store to rent the movie. Don watched it with me. It was a good movie, though not nearly as powerful as the book, and a little less satisfying. Don really enjoyed it since he was able to watch it as a stand alone movie, as opposed to myself who was comparing it to the story in the book. He particularly appreciated all of the symbolism they were able to portray cinematically such as water imagery, etc, which I confess I missed much of focusing on other things. In my case, much of the movie felt a bit rushed and a little more shallow than the depth of layers and emotions the book was able to bring out. Still, it was interesting to see what kinds of adjustments and changes they made from book to movie to convey the same story. In the end, I recommend both but the book is much better.

So after finishing such a satisfying book, I'm now on the hunt for the next interesting read. Perhaps a new book club is in my not to distant future.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reviews Continued

The next review comes with a disclaimer. ***WARNING: Book may be hazardous to your sleeping patterns.*** O.K., now that we've got that out of the way, I wanted to share that I am currently reading Memoirs of a Geisha. This book was highly recommended by my friend Katy who leant me her very own copy. We have been in the stages of planning an adventure for our gaming group based off of the world of Serenity/Firefly (movie/tv series) and I was thinking about creating a character who was a registered companion. Katy mentioned that there were many similarities between the ways of the Geisha and those of a Registered Companion and so it might be interesting background reading for me. Boy was she right! Interesting indeed! So far I am only a third of the way through the book but it is quite the page turner. The book takes place in Japan during the Great Depression. It is a very compelling tale of a young impoverished girl's plight through being orphaned, indentured, and her rise to status through her training as a Geisha. It is not an easy life and one wonders how such a young child can bear the burdens she is given to carry. With so much tending toward the dramatic, it is building up for an expected major payoff toward the end. I hope I will not be left unsatisfied.

Additionally, with Don being gone this week at the Gamma Trade Show in Vegas, my sleeping patterns have been odd with Cordy and Seumas as my bedmates. Cute and snuggly as they are, I can never quite sleep as soundly as I would like to through the night when they are in bed with me. So I have been waking up in the middle of the night and having trouble falling back to sleep. Well, last night, rather than lie awake with the boredom of my own thougths which usually tend to drift back towards work, I decided to pick up my book and read a chapter or two thinking it would put me back to sleep as reading usually does. Wrong! Not this page turner. 75 pages and 3 hours later it was 3:00 a.m. and I had to force myself to put the book down and go back to sleep. This morning, I was so tired in the shower that I accidently tried to wash my face with conditioner! Well, I may be a little groggy, but at least my skin is well moisturized!


I started a new television show called The Riches last night on Netflix. It is a series starring Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver. I found the show one day when I was IMDB'ing Eddie Izzard to see what projects he had been up to lately. When I read the show's synopsis, I was curious. It's about a con artist family (that's right, mom, dad, three kids) who decide to give up their nomadic life and gypsy ways to pull off the biggest con of all - staying rooted and living the life of a "normal" (on the show called "buffers") suburban family. Well, I have to admit, that based on the concept of the show and the cast, I expected the episodes to be mostly comedic in nature. So I was pretty surprised when the Pilot ended up being much more serious in tone. The whole setup for how they end up in their situation is actually quite serious and a little disturbing. After watching the second episode, it's clear that the series is a drama in nature, but will have the opportunity to work in lots of elements of circumstantial comedy. It's still good and very interesting, but far different from what I was expecting.

I have more reviews to follow but work that I need to get to so check back later for updates.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Plus One

Today I found out some news from my boss that actually comes as very good news. Eventually, we will be adding another full time person to our office to do similar work as I do. I am a bit relieved actually. When I was hired they let one gal go. Two of the office personnel are transitioning into other sales related roles. Which just leaves me and one part time person. I haven't been here long enough to get a grip on the kind of volume we will be handling, so it isn't so much that I was worried that one and a half people couldn't handle the volume. But this definitely puts us in a much better position to grow. Mostly, though, I am relieved to know there will be another full time me because that gives me a lot more freedom scheduling wise and to take vacation days, etc. Don't know how soon that will be happening... sometime in the next six months or so. But I feel good about where we are as an office and where we are headed. All good signs I'm still in the right place.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Organization Sensation

Wow, this has been a busy week. We had a rush at work this week for the first three days. Lots of credits, approvals, documents, and fundings! Then my boss and one of our lead sales guys went out of town. It took me a day and a half of long hours to catch up, but catch up I did. Today I had no new items coming in on my desk. It was the perfect day. I had the opportunity to go through all of my files, organize them, and create checklists for future files that will keep everything organized and make things go much more efficiently from here on out. My Type A personality is supersatisfied. I feel like I finally have a work flow and a system that makes sense. Now I can look in any file, know where everything is at, look at my list and see exactly what's missing and what still needs to be done. Think of how much time it will save!!! Did I mention I'm glowing. Come on, other Type A's out there. Can you not identify?

It has been a busy week at home too. Don and I applied for Life Insurance this week through Thrivant Financial Aid for Lutherans. It turns out that our rep is a close friend of one of the guys I work for. Small world. Anyway, part of the underwriting is that you have to go through a medical exam and medical history to determine how healthy you are and how much of a risk you are. So they sent a "portable nurse" to our house to draw blood, weigh us, measure us, and take down our medical history. Kind of nice that they come to your house. The results of our check up will determine what our premiums will be. Don is more expensive because he is a boy.

Everyone at my work has been sick with a superbug and so far I have been lucky enough not to catch it because I had a small cold a couple of weeks ago. I have been struggling with allergies though. I've started experimenting with different over the counter allergy meds - benadryl and all clear. They make a huge difference however they also knock me out. Last night was gaming night and I couldn't stay awake. I conked out at 8:30! If anyone has tried any allergy meds that work and don't drain your energy, I'd be open to hearing about them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Demo Blog

My coworker Bill is trying to figure out how blogs work. This is a demonstration for him.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Made Over

What a fun weekend! After hiking on Sunday, I pretty much crashed for the rest of the day exhausted. But Sunday was a great day. We started by meeting Jeremy and Katy and the Farmer's Market in Studio City and had lunch at the Indian Buffet. Then the four of us headed over to The Grove and caught up with Matt and Camille for the new movie 21 about the MIT kids who make a bunch of money counting cards at blackjack. Very fun movie! Afterwards, the girls wanted to do some shopping so the boys went and found themselves a nice pub to enjoy a few beers.

Our shopping day was sooo much fun. We all got makeovers at the makeup counter at Nordstrom by professional makeup artists who made us look like models. So I picked up some new makeup and also found two new pairs of jeans that fit all the crucial elements - petite legs, comfortable, and slimming! SUCCESS! I got one pair in blue and one in black. The black ones are actually nice enought to pass for business casual so I am so excited that I can actually wear them to work.

So with the girls all dolled up from our makeovers, we were definitely in going out mode, so we finished the evening by going out to dinner at one of Matt and Camille's favorite places - The 101 Cafe - a cute little old school diner where they serve breakfast all day and old fashioned soda drinks like egg cremes and cherry cokes. It was a fun day had by all and with our new makeup in tow, us girls are scheming to plan some more "going out" events in the near future. There is even talk of swing dancing. I am so thankful for such a great group of friends that all get along and enjoy each others company. We have so much fun doing couple things together but then also can split up every now and then and have girl time and guy time too. How did we get so lucky? Next weekend we may be doing a day at Renfair. I have never been before but Jeremy and Katy are pros who have worked their quite a bit. So it will be nice to go with someone who is familiar with it and can show us around.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

7 Miles!!!

As I have been alluding to in my blog, we finally did our JPL hike yesterday. It was BEAUTIFUL!!! Such a lovely opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and commune with nature again. Cordy and Seumas were troopers hiking a total of 7 MILES with Camille, Mary, and me. It was such a great way to start the weekend and although the dogs and I spent the rest of the day achy and exhausted, we can't wait to get out and do more. I am posting some of the pics below. As you can see from the first one, we discovered that Cordy thinks she is a water dog.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


So it's 3:00 a.m. and here I am at the computer. And I owe it all to the half a bottle of wine I drank with my dinner. It was great for knocking me out but once I woke up around 1:00 I am wide awake for the rest of the night. After laying in bed for a couple of hours and getting bored of my own thoughts in my head, I decided to get up and be somewhat productive by doing some finances on the computer and now a quick blog. Aside from the insomnia, it was overall an exceptionally great Monday. It included another good day of work, followed by a trip to the dog park, back home for an easy, healthy and tasty dinner with the aforementioned bottle of wine, and some fun socializing with Jeremy and Katy. And now I am headed back to bed. Hopefully, getting a couple of productive things out of my awakeness will give me the peace of mind to slip back into a relaxing state and fall asleep again. Good day and good night.